New to Railroading

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by eastsider, Oct 3, 2008.

  1. eastsider

    eastsider New Member

    Hi, I am just starting to get into model railroading since I was a child. I thought building an HO layout with my son would be fun to do over the next few years. I would like to build some kit structures and rolling stock with him. Can anyone suggest some decent quality kit brands that are not super expensive? I have a Spectrum 8-4-2 and also a couple of nice diesels so I could go with either era.

    Thanks :wave:
  2. TruckLover

    TruckLover Mack CH613 & 53' Trailer

    Welcome to the Gauge Eastsider :wave: :wave:

    If your looking for kits, I would go with Walthers Cornerstone for the Buildings and Athearn Blue Box Kits for the rolling stock. Walthers isnt the cheapest, but they are NICELY detailed structures and not to hard if your just starting out in the hobby. Walthers has continued to improve the ease of assembleing there structures over the past few years. There what i started out with and still PREFER to buy and use on my layout today.

    Athearn Blue Box Kits are also fair kits as far as detail goes. There also fairly cheap. They have many diffrent types of rolling stock available with nice and clear lettering for the most part. There not hard to find, but there not SUPER easy to find either. I would check your local Hobby Shop(s) for them, as well as the Walthers Buildings, and also online for them, as sometimes you can find alot of stuff at a cheaper price online. Your Local Hobby Shops (if you have any) are GREAT places to visit and get to know the people who work there. They will be able to help you get started the most.

    Walthers also has some nice rolling stock, there not to into kits anymore, but you can still find some around here and there.

    Hope this helps, see you around the forums :wave:
  3. eastsider

    eastsider New Member

    Thanks for the help TruckLover. I'll have to head over to the LHS and see what I find. I'm sure I'll probably be back with more questions.
  4. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Hi Eastsider. Can you tell us how old your son is and which of you will be doing the kits?
    Athearn's kits are pretty reliable (they used to be regarded as "shake-the-box"* kits) but some of them have had tricky bits to assemble.
    If the shop will let you look inside the box, generally a kit where the car body is already assembled is easier than one where it comes as a half-dozen flat castings. Also check whether there are a thousand fiddly bits to be added (grab irons, rivet heads, ladders,...) or if you need to drill a lot of #72 holes.
    While you may be able to handle adding extra detail, a boy under 10 can take it all off again in one evening.

    * shake the box and it puts itself together
  5. UP SD40-2

    UP SD40-2 Senior Member

    eastsider, :welcome1: to the Gauge:smilie: .

    As for freight car kits, don't count out Accurail kits:winki: , they are a touch easier then Athearn kits to put together, and really make for some decent looking cars:thumb: .
  6. nkp174

    nkp174 Active Member

    Welcome! DPM is another source for buildings. Walthers is the source for larger structues; DPM makes great downtown buildings.

    You might also want to try one of Grandt Line's structure kits. Grandt Line is best know for their line of detail parts for scratch builders, but they also make some very nice kits (I've built 8 of the locomotive and rolling stock kits). They are very enjoyable. The downside is that they are Craftsman kits (more tools & time), but they are far nicer looking: gallery.htm
  7. TrainNut

    TrainNut Ditat Deus

    Welcome to the site. I see your from Toledo. We used to live near Sylvania and Jackman.
  8. ZeldaTheSwordsman

    ZeldaTheSwordsman Thomas Modeler

    I once bought an Athearn tank car that I had to take in to exchange. Why? Half the tank was missing. :p
  9. eastsider

    eastsider New Member

    Thanks for all the replies everyone. I just bought three of the Athearn blue box kits to try out. I was checking out the Walthers structure kits and they look very nice. I may get one of those next. My son is only five so I will be building the kits. He will probably just help/watch. I wanted to get started on a layout with him now so that we can work on it together over the next few years. I'm still trying to decide on a good 4' x 8' track layout. I saw a couple that I liked in an Atlas book.
  10. Kevinkrey

    Kevinkrey Member

    That spectrum loco is prabably pretty big, anyone here sure that it will make a 4x8'? Anyway, not much to add to the advice given, Im only a few years really into modelrailroading so here is what I can add to other peoples comments.

    Walthers kits- my favorrite, they have the widest variety of what you can make, and are a good company to work with, the cornerstone series is also priced good in my opinopn, except for the harder to find kits. Take you time, when working on them and they can be great.

    Athearn blue box kits- Ive never built many, but they are priced good for what you get, but as always, take your time, they tend to be irritating when you get stuck on that ONE step that wont work as I always find. Walk away and come back afterr you cool down, they are not fun kits when you are mad.

    DPM structures- Ive only built one, they are like the athearn BB of structures, most what I said above applied to the DPM kit I made, but with weathering and detail, can be made to look like some of the very high end kits.

    I hope that helped some too, but just do what your doing, go to the local hobby shop and look around, I like to try something new everytime I go if I can afford it.
  11. eastsider

    eastsider New Member

    Yeah, I realized the engine was a little large afer I got it. I bought it off of ebay and the price was too good to pass up (I think). I have three other smaller engines that I will be able to run on the layout.
  12. e-paw

    e-paw Member

    I don't mean to nit pick :cool:but the steamer is probably a 4-8-2 or a 2-8-4 not an 8-4-2 that would be one huge pilot truck. So you either have a mountain or a Berkshire. So I guess we'll now call a 8-4-2 an eastsider:p, there you now have a steam engine named after you:rolleyes:.
  13. MadHatter

    MadHatter Charging at full tilt.

    Hi Eastsider- welcome to the Gauge. Many friendly people with lots of tips.

    We look forward to hearing of your progressand seeing pics!!

Share This Page